"Philip Seymour Hoffman’s at this bar!" Everybody in ATL needs to quit blowin’ up Seymour’s spot. Act like you’ve seen a hunger game before.— Kevin Saucier (@SoSure) October 31, 2013
I wasn’t entirely kidding. A friend found this on some kind of gossip site. They could add "Atlanta’s Best Amateur Comedy Show at Star Community Bar was the comedy show." This isn’t celebratory, I’m just saying, “Hey, here’s this.” I do think people were too loud about his business when he was hanging around here.
Solid Star Bar tonight. Dave Stone’s in the region for a December tour and closed the show out. I had a fun set. Got good news about friends. Got central heat in my new apartment after being a space-heater dude for a year.
Rob Haze opened for Dave Chappelle at the Tabernacle last night and tonight. I think we’re going to lose him soon. But in the meantime, he’s starting a show at Smith’s Olde Bar tomorrow/tonight (written Dec. 10, 1:24 a.m.) at 9 p.m. So that’ll run for three weeks, and then he’ll get called up to the big leagues and it’ll be over, but I’m on the first one and looking forward to it.
How did you learn to get booked and network with other comedians?
I started in the “alt scene” so I was doing free shows just to get a drink ticket. I was trying to kill every show, trying to meet everyone who booked it, and be nice to people. Niceness is key; there’s not enough nice comics. I think if people are comfortable around you they’ll book you because they like being around you. So I was kind of going off that. And I think people saw I was working hard, and I never said no to any gig. I’d do any gig – “Hey we got a gig in the Bronx for no money” and I would’ve been like “Oh, I’ll be there!” I think that helps. I think my desperation showed. After a gig I’d email the guy and say “Thanks for having me, I’d love to do it again, really appreciate it” – and then yeah, I think it grew from there. I’d meet your Comedy Central lady or I’d meet your manager guy and be like “Is this my break? Is this it?” like a real loser, like a wide-eyed idiot.
And another thing – meet every single comic. When you go to these open mics and you go “Ooh, that guy sucks,” just go meet him! Don’t push everyone away, don’t be like “I’m the man, I’m gonna fuckin’ take over this town.” You’ve got to be nice to everybody. They’re just as eager as you and you’ve got to be the bigger man and just go “Hey, good set! I’m Mark! I like that one joke you had.” Because they’re all scared, and you’re scared, so if you just step up and say hi they’ll be like “Oh thank God, someone’s talking to me.” Don’t be the scared guy. I mean you can be the scared guy, but realize they’re the scared guy too. I can’t tell you how many people I’ve met at an open mic my first year when I didn’t know what the C train was, and then I see them five years later and they’re like “Hey, you were that guy, do you want to do my show?” and you’re like “I’d love to do your show!” Just always be nice.
This is probably especially true in local scenes where there’s hardly anyone who draws or kills hard enough that someone could be a jerk and a booker would still think, “I’ve GOTTA have that person on my show.” If I walked around being rude to people in Atlanta, it’d be easy to find a comic who’s just as funny as me but less difficult to have around.